Upward direction for Holly Race Roughan

Published: 15 August 2021
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

Holly Race Roughan—Headlong new artistic director

Holly Race Roughan is to be the new artistic director at Headlong, starting her role next week.

She joined the company in 2019 as associate artistic director commissioning a wide variety of work and becoming known for developing new writing. Previously, she had been the director of the Lyric Ensemble at the Lyric Hammersmith.

Her directorial credits include Hedda Tesman by Cordelia Lynn, House Party by April De Angelis and Penny by Charlene James and the UK tour of People, Places & Things by Duncan MacMillan with Jeremy Herrin.

During lockdown, she co-created Signal Fires, a nationwide festival for touring companies, and directed interactive audio drama The Ghost Caller by Luke Barnes. Her upcoming work includes co-directing Ovid’s Metamorphoses for Shakespeare’s Globe.

Race Roughan was associate director at arts-in-prisons charity Kestrel Theatre Company, where she now sits on the board.

She said, “theatre allows us to collectively imagine an alternative future, and I believe touring companies can be pollinators of that national imagination.

"I’m hugely inspired by Headlong’s history of creating bold work that speaks directly to the political moment. I can’t wait to collaborate with our brilliant producing partners, work inclusively with the next generation of theatre-makers, and innovate what theatre can be.

"I look forward to exhilarating our audiences across the UK—on stage, on screen, and on air. It’s a privilege to lead this company, to dive headlong together into an ambitious, exciting tomorrow.”

Race Roughan will be the first woman to hold the position of artistic director at this award-winning theatre company.